March 9, 2012


Test Drive--2012 Chevrolet Volt and Cruze Eco (Cookie the Dog's Owner, March 08, 2012, Amazon Blogs)

For the most part, driving a Volt is just like driving a Cruze Eco with an automatic. The Volt has better pickup because, as my fellow contributor Chuck noted in his review of the Nissan Leaf, electric motors produce maximum torque at all times. Put your foot down, and every one of the Volt's 273 foot-pounds report for duty right the Hell now! (When I tested this out, Ellen broke radio silence to remind me that speeding tickets were my own responsibility.) The Volt also stops in a shorter distance than the Cruze, thanks to the regenerative braking system. Other than that, it's the same car in terms of how it drives.

On the one hand, this is an impressive accomplishment. GM has managed to build a car with a completely new powertrain technology that uses less fuel (for the most part) but gives almost nothing away in terms of functionality. (The Cruze seats three across in back; the Volt can only seat two because the battery pack intrudes into the passenger compartment, and the cargo area is a bit smaller as well.) The problem with electrics up to now has been limited range and long recharge time, but the Volt, with its onboard generator, can go as long as there's gas in the tank and refuel at the same gas stations as its conventional competitors.

On the other hand, the Volt is a forty-one thousand dollar car. The Cruze Eco, as tested by your humble narrator, comes in at around twenty-one thousand. 

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Posted by at March 9, 2012 6:00 AM

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